Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring, spring, spring

I started shopping for a new pair of sneakers a couple of weeks ago and couldn't find anything I liked. I last bought a pair of good Nike sneakers about 7 years ago, and they are shot. The backs are all broken down (this is why I tell my kids to untie their shoes!), and they are all stretched out and squished down and ewww!

But all the sneakers I looked at looked enormous on my feet, and I hated the colors (pink and purple are apparently the colors women like currently). So I decided I would have to spend a little more since I couldn't find anything reasonable that I would wear for the next 7 years. I finally, after a hideous shopping trip with four kids, one of whom desperately need a nap, came home with these:

 When I put them on my feet, I literally said, "aaaaahhhhh!" They felt sooo good. I can't believe how much lighter technology has made shoes since I last bought sneakers. Even the New Balance ones I tried on felt good, but these were like heaven. So I came home with a new pair of sneakers that I love. Now, if it would stop being wet and muddy outside, I could wear them a little more!

In other news, we had a series of days a couple of weeks ago where we didn't get any eggs from our chickens. I searched all the usual places, but no dice. Yesterday my husband discovered about 15 eggs in the old kitchen cabinet we keep on our front porch for our cats during the winter months. Yuck! Then we found one in the front yard! These chickens are weird. That reminds me though, I have 2 fresh eggs in my jacket pocket that I need to go put in the fridge.

Speaking of cats, I noticed the other day that our very old cat, Angus, who lives outside because he likes to pee on the bath mat, was very, very thin. He has long hair so I hadn't noticed until I picked him up. I got him some tuna fish and he went to town on it - I wondered if he had been having trouble eating hard food, though it seems as if he were eating regularly, according to my daughter, who feeds him every day. He had had major dental issues and doesn't have very many teeth, but he didn't seem to have any major issues when I checked him out the other day, other than the thinness. We bought some soft food and he ate a tiny bit the day before yesterday, but then yesterday he was gone. I've looked everywhere for him. Under the porch, in the chicken coop, in the garage, under the trailer...nada.

I am afraid he was sick and went somewhere to die. If the rain slows down, I"m going to go look for him again. Poor kitty :(.

It is a rainy, April-ish sort of day. I overslept - when I woke up, Lucy was watching a video, and Tom was long gone for work! Couldn't believe I slept through all that. I guess I'm making up for that hour I will lose tonight. I keep expecting it to get cold again, but weather reports call for high 40s and 50s all through next week. Awesome! I am disgusted when I look outside though - everything is so muddy, and the yard is a mess, and there is junk everywhere. I am in spring cleaning mode and can't do anything about it! I seriously want to rent a dumpster and get rid of TONS of stuff!

The next couple of weeks are going to continue to be busy, to wit: pre-op appointment, two scholarship essays, one mid-term paper, RSCC interview in Boston, meeting with my teaching pastor, and hand surgery for a bone spur on the 26th. Then it's spring break, haha! I'll be finishing financial aid info, working, and preparing some info for my church's board so I can apply for sponsorship (assuming I get candidacy from the RSCC).

I am holding on to the picture of the last two weeks of May before CPE starts full time plus for 11 weeks ;).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wow, am I freaking old

For another 45 minutes, it's my oldest daughter's 14th birthday. WTF?! Fourteen? Come on. Really? What happened?

Because I am not kidding you, five minutes ago, I gave birth to this amazing 5 and a half pound screaming, red-raced baby, that was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. I fought off nurses who wanted to give her a bottle and who didn't want her to snuggle in bed with me. I didn't sleep for years. And I've got a lot more gray hair now. But let me tell you, it's worth every minute.

I am so proud to be her mom. She is smart and funny and pretty and did I mention smart? And she's a nice person and doesn't put up with any crap, and is a good communicator - better than a lot of adults I know. And she is mostly nice to her siblings (except Soren) and she is reliable and fun and athletic and has good taste.

It was nice to see so many of her friends today at ice skating. We sang and ate cake and drank soda, and (wow, I think I'm becoming a New Yorker because I almost typed pop instead of soda!), and it was really sweet.

14. Wow.

It was a gorgeous spring day to boot. 62F and balmy. We went to the park and hung out for a couple of hours. I saw the snow geese yesterday, and scads of Canadian geese migrating. Lots of cardinals and robins and woodpeckers.

I'm one lucky woman, let me tell you.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A little righteous indignation

I had an interesting conversation with my ex-husband and his wife last night. I wrote a sermon for class and got a good grade - but the professor's feedback was that it conveyed a lot of anger in a sermon about love. I got other feedback that didn't mention anger at all. I have been wrestling with this feedback for several weeks now, and trying to figure out if I should or shouldn't tweak it to make it somehow more accessible.

Of course I know that once you say something out loud, people are going to take it in a variety of ways, but this particularly interested me. The professor said that my sermon would alienate people who were already against my topic. :::shrug::: I doubt that anyone firmly entrenched in position is easily swayed by even calm, well-reasoned conversation either.

In any event, our conversation last night was about whether there's a place for some righteous indignation or even anger in a sermon. David's impression was that UU sermons tend to be too conciliatory (that's not the word he used, but I think that's the idea) and that a little well placed passion can be motivating for a congregation to hear. 

What think you? What kind of sermon motivates you? Do you feel offended by your minister being ticked off about a social justice issue?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Soulful Saturday

I went for my morning walk this morning, and even though it looked like spring, sounded like spring, and pretended to be spring, it was cold. But the robins are singing, as are the cardinals, geese are starting to migrate overhead (I'm watching for my annual snow geese sighting!), and on the way back, the sun was warmer on my face.

It's a lovely afternoon and I'm working on a short reflection on the Gospel of Matthew at Panera's. The little people won't leave me alone this week to focus on school and work, and I totally forgot about this assignment and pushed right on through to Luke. It's reading week, after all. I also didn't get time to study for my quiz coming up next week, but I'll get there.

It's been a whirlwind of tax preparation, getting financial aid info ready (still have to write some essays!) and final papers. I just turned in my last paper, a sermon, from my January classes. I'm so glad I didn't try to take anything at March intensives. Goodness.

In any event, I'm feeling the energy for spring, I got wonderful feedback on my sermon, and I'm enjoying the sunshine outside the window. Emma's at home wearing the little ones out in the snow, and Soren's at the gym. I'm inspired by this New Testament class, and especially like the text we're using, Global Bible Commentary. I just read Sugirtharajah's reflection on Matthew which talks about Gandhi's reaction to the NT, and it is fascinating, and really parallel to my own experience of the NT. Good stuff!

Wondering what a UU Sermon on the Mount would look like!

I've been using my UU "rosary" aka prayer beads every morning for a week now, with a very personal meditation, and am loving it. It is really tying together my morning meditation and gives me something to hook into later in the day when I need to get into a more connected space. I highly recommend the resources in the UUA's Tapestry of Faith adult curriculum.

I have my RSCC interview on the 22nd in Boston, am meeting with our Associate minister at my church next Saturday, and have to put together materials for our Board to ask them to sponsor me. What a whirlwind of writing and preparation, but it is all feeling really integraged and meaningful. Now if someone just add a few hours to each day!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Good news

I found out today that I've been accepted into the CPE (chaplaincy) program at Strong Hospital in Rochester. I am so relieved and hopeful about this placement. It will be for the summer - the end of May through August and difficult for everyone, I'm sure, as it's full time, plus a couple of on-call shifts. But I hope we can survive 11 weeks ;) And at least it's over the summer - the kids can sleep in and play outside, and have a relaxing time!

Now if I just get my date for my candidacy interview in Boston, I will feel all is right with the world (at least until I get there and am struck with all the nerves!).

I have a few scholarship essays to write and if I get my tax return in the next week, I'll be on track to turn in all my financial aid stuff for next year.

OK, off to read a bit more of Luke before I head to Wellspring!